Thursday, May 5, 2011

Navigating the World of the Uninsured: Bills and Revelations

So, it has been roughly six weeks since I suffered my episode with sciatica.  Thankfully, my back feels significantly better, and I am walking with less of a limp.  Sadly, the numbness and tingling in my left foot remains, and my balance has been compromised noticeably (which was a concern that was mentioned), in that it is difficult for me to balance myself on my left foot, with my right foot raised.

I am also now contending with the bills related to all of this.  The total that I owe so far is approximately $1,500.  The largest bills are for the Emergency Room and for lab work; those two alone were over $1,000.  I do have an opportunity to reduce the Emergency Room bill, because I am paying for it directly.  I am waiting now to see if I can get that fee reduced by half.  We'll see.  The lab work costs were a total and complete surprise.  I had no idea of the costs associated with someone analyzing my blood.

With all of that said, I am bracing myself for the second bill for lab work to arrive in the mailbox.  Last Friday, I was asked to do more lab work by my doctor, because of a concern in my results.  And on Tuesday, I learned that I have Type 2 Diabetes.  Once again, the first thing that came to my mind was the cost associated with medications.  Thankfully, I didn't say that to my doctor.  Instead, I wanted assurance that if I made changes to my overall lifestyle, then there was a real possibility that I could beat this.  I got that assurance.

So what began as a nasty episode related to sciatica has become something more.  Now, I get to find out what it is like to be uninsured while fighting Diabetes.  It's my new reality.  Anything can happen, and my job is to make sure that the better things come my way.  I have a very strong support network, which makes me think about those who are less fortunate than I am.  I think about those who don't have the options I have.  But, I also have to think about myself, make a plan, and execute it to the best of my ability.  So, the adventure continues.

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